Thursday, October 22, 2009

Orzo with Tomato Artichoke Sauce

Tonight I came home wanting a gourmet meal. I didn't want to go to the store, and I shouldn't have to since I constantly have my pantry stocked with deliciousness. I had a Greek salad on my mind which I had no recipe for, so I started googling some ingredients to find recipe inspirations. (Here is one.) I ended up with a very interesting pasta dish instead.

1 small jar grilled marinated artichoke hearts
about 10 kalamata olives, pitted
2 tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
juice of one lemon (about 1/4 cup)
1/4 cup liquid from the artichoke hearts (or a little less of olive oil)
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup feta cheese
1/2 box orzo

1. Cook orzo according to package directions.
2. Put artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, tomatoes and garlic in food processor with lemon juice and liquid from artichoke hearts. Process (but not too much) to chop everything up. (Keep it chunky!)
3. Toast sunflower seeds (350* for about 5 minutes).
4. Mix the contents of the food processor with cooked and drained orzo over a tiny bit of heat (just to warm) and mix together.
5. Spoon orzo mixture into bowls and top with sunflower seeds and feta.

Now - I will say a few things. I processed too much (I always do), and it is not too pretty... next time I might use the food chopper instead, or a good knife. This was really intended to be chunky. Also, you may not need all the dressing, or you may need less lemon juice depending on your personal preferences (it was pretty lemony). The tomato was kind of overpowering as well. I did eat a bowl of this, but it wasn't very good in the end. I am posting it anyway because I think it had some potential.

I made this entirely with things I had lying around, so adjust to what you have on hand and your personal preferences. This may actually be better (or at least less tangy) with black olives instead of kalamata olives, or canned artichoke hearts instead of grilled/marinated. I also intended to add red onion to this, but I guess I forgot! There is plenty of room for adjustment here. It made about 4 servings.

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